Okinawa part 3 – Beaches

This part of my Okinawa trip photos will focus on beaches. Most of these shots were taken on Sesoko Beach, on the northern part of Sesoko Island. A few shots were taken at the Churaumi Aquarium in Ocean Expo Park. Other shots were taken on Kouri Island, off the northern coast of Okinawa.

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Okinawa Aquarium

Okinawa Aquarium

Okinawa is home to some very unique architecture. It ranges from large, plain above ground tombs, to old farm houses, to a very particular way of tiling a roof.

First, one of the main architectural features that differs from prefecture to prefecture in Japan is the color and style of the roof tiles. Up here in Akita, they use shiny black roof tiles, but the tiles on Okinawa are orange with large patches of white grout to hold them down. Perhaps this has something to do with the strong typhoon winds which periodically rip through the islands.

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Okinawa Architecture

Okinawa Architecture

I was down in Okinawa in mid-May for a language conference, and it was my first visit. I took quite a few photos while down there, so I thought I’d organize them according to several themes. This one is Pottery. One unique feature of Okinawa architecture is the pottery good-luck demon squatting on the tile roof.  They are variations on the ‘Shisa’ lion-dogs found throughout Japan and China at most temple and shrine complexes.

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Old wood carvings at the Botanical Garden

Old wood carvings at the Botanical Garden

Koh Phayam

March 2016

Recently some of my friends in Nepal have been going to a small, little-known island in the Andaman Sea called Koh Phayam. Very little development, no paved roads or cars, just bicycles and scooters allowed. It sounded like my kind of place.

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Dog at sunrise – Koh Phayam, Thailand

Kathmandu – Losar 2016

I returned to Kathmandu for the usual Losar party and gathering of expats, but this year it was more subdued than usual. It was my first time back since the earthquake, so the devastation was quite traumatic. The most shocking moment I had was when I first saw the Great Stupa of Boudhanath. I used to live near the stupa so it was a shock to see that the entire top  had been removed to make structural repairs.

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Boudha Stupa – Post-Quake